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Re: thoughts on potential outcomes for non-free ballot

On Wed, Jan 21, 2004 at 09:59:29AM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > > Finally, note that software currently in main which does not satisfy
> > > > all of our guidelines will get dropped -- there will be no "fallback
> > > > position".  In particular, I'm thinking of GFDL licensed documentation,
> > > > but I can't guarantee that that's all.

On Fri, Jan 23, 2004 at 12:38:01PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > I don't see why you would think that. The proposal you cite is very
> > > simple: it says we'll drop the non-free component, and that's all it says.

On Thu, Jan 22, 2004 at 10:22:15PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > It's very simple: GFDL licensed documentation does not satisfy all
> > requirements of the DFSG.

On Fri, Jan 23, 2004 at 01:36:35PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> That's nice. Why do you think that means it would get dropped from main,
> merely because the non-free section will disappear?

Because the requirement for main is that it satisfy all of our free
software guidelines.  As I understand it, GFDL does not properly satisfy
guideline #3.

> > > Personally, I think that's harmful: independent issues should be voted
> > > on separately; and afaics the editorial changes and the substantive
> > > changes are independent.

> > What defines independence?
> The decision you make on one doesn't affect the decision you make on
> the other.

Taken literally, that means what's written in the proposal is by
definition not independent.

> Removing non-free and change the social contract to reflect
> that fact aren't independent -- the decision you make on either affects
> the other. Removing non-free and clarifying "some of our users" to "some,
> not all, of our users" aren't related.

First off, I'm going to change that specific piece of text as Anthony
DeRobertis suggested.

Second off, that particular piece of text is relevant to non-free as
it's a part of the discussion of the significance of non-free.

> > > At the moment the substantive options that have been discussed are:
> > > 	[   ] Drop non-free
> > > 	[   ] Limit non-free to partially-DFSG-free software
> > > 	<   > Keep non-free as is (unproposed)
> > > while there are a whole raft of possible editorial changes.

> > Even on that axis, there's more involved than that.

> Really? I haven't seen any of it. Would you care to expound?

The descriptive text in the social contract which defines our relationship
with non-free software.

> > > At the moment, it's very easy to lose the substantive changes
> > > you're proposing amidst the copious editorial changes you're also
> > > proposing. That's bad -- we don't want to make substantive changes
> > > by accident.
> > I'm quite happy to provide any needed documentation on my proposed
> > changes.
> Providing *more* text makes it *easier* to lost the important details.
> If you're really making more substantive changes than the one above, this
> has already happened.

The problem which I think needs to be addressed is that people can
mis-interpret the social contract to think that it's saying we shouldn't
distribute non-free.

I don't know why you don't even recognize this as a problem.

> > I've proposed alternative changes to the social contract (also specific,
> > though different in form), but have not proposed any specific followup
> > actions.  If anything, that seems to make my proposal more "goal oriented"
> > than what it's amending.
> A lot of your changes are trying to clarify the description of our goals.

Yes, exactly.

> Andrew's proposal is to *change* our goals.


> Those are different issues.

They're not independent issues.

> Whether or not we want to clarify or clean up the social contract is an issue
> that's entirely separate to whether or not we want to drop non-free.

I think that the reason people want to drop non-free is at least in part
because of the way the social contract expresses our goals.

Anyways, there's nothing stopping you from proposing "goals only"
amendments.  If you're truly only describing goals, not changes to any
foundation documents, your proposals would be free of a significant
hurdle which both my proposal and Andrew's proposal must face (the 3:1
supermajority requirement).

Note also that I'm not claiming that you're wrong for believing that
a "Goals Only" proposal is a good thing.  If you have a clear vision
of what that proposal should be, I highly recommend you write it up.
I might even vote for it.

However, *I* don't have a clear vision of what that should be -- the
problem I see is one of ambiguous language in the social contract.
And that's the problem I'm trying to address.  That you don't even
recognize this as a problem doesn't really convince me that I should
cease my approach.

Anyways, you've been right before when I've been wrong -- this might be
another case of that.  But at the moment I'm not convinced.


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